It was either white space or the theme deck. And Booya! All y’all thought I was Alongian in my thematic listing, therefore bombarding me with Alongian amounts of mail. Seriously, it was just something to just take up a little space and provide perhaps a smidgen of entertainment. Did you guys see it that way? Heavens no and hells yes.
After receiving more than two hundred emails (and they’re still coming), which is a record for me, regarding my Auction Du Peeps Theme Deck, I will finally reveal the correct answer – the answer that only a handful of you actually arrived upon. While many of you”discovered” that the answer was so durn blasted easy, you were only pretty close – which, considering that I put almost no thought into the ground rules of said contest, was close enough to be a winner.
This is going to be very difficult to do without getting edited into total incoherence.
Roughly eighty-five percent of you said the answer was”[the”T” word] AND [the”A” word].” The middle word is incorrect.
About ten percent thought it was”sex on the beach,” which is odd indeed, although I can see how that conclusion was reached. I guess. But you’re all sick as hell, yo.
Around three percent had no clue whatsoever. Really.
And a full one-point-nine percent or so actually arrived at the exact correct answer:
There were cards with [the”T” word] in it’s singular form, not the plural, which was very important.
There were cards with the letters SAND.
There were cards with the letters [the”A” word].
Say [the”T” word] in it’s singular form, SAND, and [the”A” word] together. And there you have it.
And then there was my old buddy Outback Ed, Da Man O’ Steele From Australia – the point one percent of respondents – who overthought so much that he ended up with this:
“The sand critturs it has to do with having sand in ya [the”T” word] and bum – and how annoying that can be!”
I was momentarily speechless for more than a moment because, well, what the hell is he talking about? And why does he almost make sense? And why did I immediately think of Bony Tony Boydell upon reading his email?
Come on, chiefs, there is no card in Magic that has [the”T” word] pluralized (at least according to Apprentice and the”contains” search), hence the inclusion of the following cards:
To make the transition between [the”T” word] and [the”A” word] I needed to use the word”sand.”
And there is the damn answer. The middle word is”sand,” not”and.” Call it a technicality, but it was right there in plain English for everyone to see. And yet I give in because it’s much easier to say”fine, you win” than it is to say”you’re close, try again” and process another round of two hundred-plus emails.
So everyone who answered with”and” or”&” as the middle word were close enough to win a lot of stuff that may or may not be total crap that I’ve never bothered to throw away. You win the unwanted, the scorned, the neglected cards from my collection. Congrats.
It will certainly be a while before I have another contest, especially one like the theme-deck-that-I-just-put-in-as-space-filler. Heh, free stuff gets all y’all’s wiry zones all perked up, doesn’t it? And a hundred or so of y’all will get some lovin’ in the mail. Good thing I know a guy who knows a guy at the post office. But I warn you, the contents of your prize package are likely going to be very cheesy and borderline sucky because, well, I can’t send everyone a Sexual Chocolate, Manakin, or Foil Malicious Advice. Well, that’s what you get when you only drop me mail when there’s free crap on the line, damnit.
From now on, maybe I should be like everyone else and have the worlds most stringent guidelines ever:
1) Format your mail the way I say.
2) Put what I tell you to in the subject line.
3) Kiss my ass immediately and then every other line.
4) Bow down and pray that you are one of the two people I bother to respond to.
5) Do 1 through 4 and I might consider allowing you to enter my contest. But I doubt it.
Alas, I won’t do that because I’m not as evil as I wish, for I am still the emotional tampon of Magic – the guy that the chicks dig because they can dump all their crap on but don’t want to have sex with, which is okay because I don’t want to have sex with them either, although a cuddle sounds sweet! But one day I’ll be drunk and confess my love to them and get shot down so hard that I will climb a clock tower and take aim on the little black dots in my scope. And it’s all your fault.
Here’s a few bite-sized pieces of serendipity that came out of the contest when I wasn’t expecting them, which is, coincidentally, just what serendipity is.
3) That’s a chick on Iron Will!
4) The dude on Index looks like a member of ZZ Top.
5) The dudes on Reverse Polarity strongly resemble Ace and Gary of SNL’s The Ambiguously Gay Duo.
6) If you were to draw a goatee and sunglasses on Benalish Missionary, dude would look bad ass.
7) It would be amazing technology if Gary Wise were to play the”T Sand A” deck in Jamestown.
8) Awesome PT player and assorted Magic personality theme deck ideas resulted. To wit:
The Dave Williams Theme Deck
Look What Happened To Me.dec
The Ryan Fuller Theme Deck
I Hate Gary Wise And I’ll Prove It.dec
The Mike Flores Theme Deck
English Is My Second Language.dec
4x Agonizing DeMISE
4x Haunting MISEry
4x MISEr’s Cage
4x mWONVULi Ooze
4x PRImORDiAL Ooze
4x RAmiREz DIPIeTRO
The Dan Bock Theme Deck
Heh, I Got My Two Points.dec
The Deranged Dad *foil* Theme Deck
Die MOTL Die.dec
4x Spare Tires
4x Triple A Memberships
4x Carl Jarrell
The Anthony Alongi Theme Deck
Joy and Pain.dec
Sideboard for multiplayer:
15x Circle of Protection: Todd Petit
The Kurt Hahn Theme Deck
I Ownz Y’all.dec
15x Look At Me, I’m The DCI
15x Rogue Skycaptain
15x Spike Rogue
15x Diabolic Vision
15x Reality Twist
15x Refreshing Rain
15x Bellowing Fiend
4x Jeweled Bird
4x Contract From Below
1x Enlightened Tutor – Restricted
1x Barktooth Warbeard – Restricted
1x Big Furry Monster, Left Side – Restricted
1x Big Furry Monster, Right Side – Restricted
The Israel Marques Theme Deck
Me And My Obsession.dec
Sideboard, mirror match tech:
1x Thran Foundry
The Kai Budde Theme Deck
Like He Needs One
Lest you think that I can dish it out but can’t take it…
The Friggin’ Rizzo Theme Deck
1x Diet Coke
1x Pack of Smokes
And speaking of theme decks, try this one on for size, all y’all who thought you had the last one figured cold but were just plain wrong by a technicality that wasn’t so technical at all:
4x Crovax, The Cursed
4x Mindless Automaton
2x Phyrexian Marauder
1x Shifting Wall
1x Spike Breeder
3x Spike Cannibal
1x Spike Colony
1x Spike Drone
4x Spike Feeder
1x Spike Hatcher
1x Spike Rogue
1x Spike Soldier
2x Spike Weaver
1x Spike Worker
1x Thopter Squadron
1x Zombie Mob
Don’t bother sending me mail telling me just how easy this one is, since I’ll give the answer in the next few pages or so, just like Nate Heiss does, dammit.
Okay. Now that everyone has taken off their pants, we may begin. But first, make a note of this please:
I have finally been kicked off AOL; turns out that four months is the longest you can go without paying your bill before they finally boot you. Thus, all future mail should be sent to me at [email protected]. If you send it to AOL, well, um, sucka!
While reading Boney Toney’s latest offering on Monday night, I suddenly became violently ill.”Violently” as in”Wow! Just how far can I projectile vomit?” ill. I think it’s just a coincidence. Or not. However, I bet Antonio”Huggy Bear” Boydell is laughing along merrily at the thought of Johnny Riz vomiting in cadence with odd British humour that no one gets, nor appreciates, and yet, cannot read without being forever altered.
For reference, I did indeed vomit three feet seven inches. Yes, I measured it. I am that pathetic.
Also on Monday, I was alerted to the fact that Dave Williams was kicked to the curb for the period of one year. Let me say this:
I’m glad that Dave Williams was suspended.
Not in the”warms my heart” kind of sense, but more so in a”how’s that karmic pie tasting, chief?” way. And why would I harbor such resentment for such a visible and well-liked pro player? Here:
Slemr extended his hand, but Williams refused to shake it. Slemr left his hand extended for a few seconds saying”whatever, it’s your choice” and Williams just got more bitter and upset. As he walked way, Williams continued hurling insults”I’ve never felt this way about anyone before . . . I hate everything about you . . . Maybe if you ****ing learned how to draft!”
–Randy Buehler (http://www.wizards.com/sideboard/article.asp?x=PTLA01888fm1c)
I’d say that it’s safe to say that I won’t miss reading Williams’ match coverage for the next year.
They call it payback. Karma. The comes around that finally did. Refusing to shake an opponent’s hand is ridiculously ass; I’d say it’s at least as ass as marking (allegedly, but hey, dude’s gone so I guess it’s not alleged anymore) your Accumulated Knowledges.
It’s interesting that not many have come to the defense of Williams, especially since he does indeed seem to be well respected. Perhaps those who would come to his aid now realize that”get out of my game” isn’t just a touchy-feely slogan anymore – it’s the new way.
“New way? What’s this about a new way?”
-Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange
And damn the torpedoes. Joshua Claytor almost defended Williams with the following quotes, but they seem more like the effort of a shocked and saddened fan who just found out that there is no Santa Claus.
“I’m going to go to the side event area, and see if anyone still wants to play with me.”
Aw, how quaint.
“I just want to game.”
Yeah? So do we, but we don’t mark our cards or refuse to shake our opponents’ hands.
But I think that even Claytor, who has been a vocal and staunch Williams supporter in the past, has heard the tales of utter”iffyness” that have left many shaking their heads as if to say”it’s about time” and come to the conclusion that something was amiss with Texas’ Favorite Son.
Can’t say I miss Casey McCarrell or Ed Fear much either, and I see that the game has gone on uninterrupted.
The DCI: We’re what’s for breakfast!
The DCI: We got picked on in high school, now we got the power and we’re gonna use it!
Forgive me if I play devil’s advocate for a moment.
Now that The DCI has cracked down hard on cheating and improprieties, I am left with one question:
Have they gone too far too fast?
For years many have bitched and whined and pissed and moaned about the apparent lackadaisical approach The DCI took towards attacks on the integrity of the game, with Mike Long being the most widely used example. As a result, they got tough, rolled up their sleeves and got with the program. It appears that they only give us that which we ask for (read: complain about). And we asked for judges with balls.
Well, we got ’em.
Dave Williams had three somewhat marked Accumulated Knowledges in his deck. I say”somewhat” because the impression that I got from reading about the incident was that they did not appear to be… Know what? Screw this. I’m not even going to try to see the Williams’ or Fear’s or McCarrell’s side.
The DCI is cracking down and they are right to do so.
No question about it.
We need a stable and firm legislative/judiciary body if we expect our game to flourish for any considerable amount of time. The DCI is that body. If you are a fan of Williams, Fear, or McCarrell and think that perhaps their punishment did not fit the crime, then please sit down for a second and think about this:
Williams had marked cards.
Fear drew from his sideboard.
McCarrell manipulated the order of Brian Hegsted’s deck and reported a false match result.
None of those facts are in dispute.
Williams’ cards could have been accidentally marked, but would he have received a one-year suspension if this was an isolated incident on an otherwise impeccable record?
Fear could have made an absentminded error, but would he have received a one-year suspension if this was an isolated incident on an otherwise impeccable record?
McCarrell could have simply shuffled poorly, but would he have received a three-year suspension if these were isolated incidents on an otherwise impeccable record?
They are all 0/0 creatures. Simple, wasn’t it? Snuck up on ya, didn’t I? Welcome to”Flashback,” the newest craze from Wizards of the Coast!
Point: these guys had been at least a little shifty. At least that’s what the length of the suspensions indicates to me. I can’t see David Price getting kicked for one year if three of his cards appear to be marked.
Why the apparent double standard then? Well, Price is well known for his unquestionable ethics, whereas Williams has a track record that is dubious at best, at least the way I see it – the Slemr episode qualifies as some dubious. As did Fear – his famed no-shirt matches seemed a little base and tasteless. And McCarrell’s record was nothing short of pitiful when it came to correctly reporting simple, undisputable facts, such as”Which one of you won the friggin’ match?”
It’s seems that it is becoming more than a question of”did you do it?” Character and past credibility are entering the equation, which is probably good. I think. Either way, there’s a new sheriff in town, and his name’s Reggie Hammond.
Simply put: The DCI, much like the rhythm, is gonna get ya’.
They got McCarrell.
They got Fear.
They got Williams.
Now, to get to work on Fuller…
John Friggin’ Rizzo
at yahoo.com, dammit.